Publ: Development Blog

News and updates about Publ

We have basic image renditions!!!

Posted Wednesday, April 18 at 3:00 AM (4 years ago)

Check out this image:


Check out this tinier version of the image:


If you have a high-DPI screen, notice how the tinier version is sharper!

Lots of code cleanups

Posted Tuesday, April 17 at 12:35 AM (4 years ago)

I threw PyLint at the code. Then I cleaned everything up.

This blog entry is really just to test the fixes to make sure everything works. Seems fine.

Added some basic caching

Posted Monday, April 16 at 8:00 PM (4 years ago)

Instead of working on image renditions I decided to try adding in some caching functionality, and experimented with both functools.lru_cache and Flask-Cache. Neither is a particularly great solution to caching but they get the job done.

The silliest Publ bug so far

Posted Wednesday, April 11 at 9:22 PM (4 years ago)

So I was trying to figure out why new entries weren’t appearing in indexes until things restarted. I thought it might be a caching thing, but editing entries caused them to update instantly. So then I thought it might be an index thing, like maybe something silly with how SQLite handles timezone-aware DateTimes, so I overhauled the date handling so that it separated out display_date from entry_date, but that didn’t help either. Then I looked closely at the database before and after restarting the process, and that didn’t help. And then I made sure my queries were using the right timezone, and that didn’t help.

Then I had one of those moments where I realized what I’d done wrong with such sudden clarity that I couldn’t help but yell at myself a little.

Let’s talk about entry IDs

Posted Wednesday, April 11 at 5:00 PM (4 years ago)

So, previously I was just letting the database generate entry IDs on its own. In SQLite this means it would always generate the next entry ID as the highest one plus one. This is fine in a circumstance where entries always get assigned their IDs in the same place, but in Publ’s model that might not be the case.

One particularly fun circumstance: A site’s maximum ID is 406. You’ve written an entry on your own machine, and someone else has written an entry on their own machine (or you wrote two entries, each on a separate branch), and when testing the rendering they both end up getting entry ID 407. Which one’s right?

Pagination corrected

Posted Wednesday, April 11 at 12:06 AM (4 years ago)

There was a silly bug with how I was generating paginated views which I noticed as soon as I did my commit/merge last night but I figured I’d wait until today to fix it (because the fix was obvious and I was already up way too late). And I fixed it.


There is only one feature left before I can start making a real site with this thing: Image renditions.

This is the single most important feature (at least for the initial phase of Publ), and in fact about 95% of the reason why I decided to write a new CMS to handle my site content; this is the one thing that every CMS I’ve seen does a poor job of handling, and which is very difficult to hack around. (I hacked around it in Movable Type, as I mentioned previously, and it is one of the most irritating things about running my site as it is.)

We have pagination!

Posted Tuesday, April 10 at 2:25 AM (4 years ago)

Something you might notice on this very blog is that now there are only 5 entries shown at a time by default, and there are handy links for the previous and next page.

Another useful thing: browsing by date, which also works on months and years.

There’s still a bit of stuff that should be added but this was the second-to-last major thing to do before considering Publ useful enough for me to start migrating my own site over.

Next up: Image renditions.

Some quick links for you

Posted Sunday, April 8 at 3:54 PM (4 years ago)

Claude let me know about an article on Wired about RSS’s comeback. For those who don’t want to self-host their own Feed on Feeds instance there are some pretty good recommendations for readers to use there.

They also point to Dave Winer’s, where you can submit your feed reader’s OPML export and see what stuff other folks are subscribing to as well. In case you want to start discovering some more feeds!

Just one tiny fix today

Posted Saturday, April 7 at 11:32 PM (4 years ago)

I am trying to make my weekends actual weekends, so the only thing I did on Publ today was to refactor the way that properties with optional arguments work. Previously I was using a hack that only worked for string-type things (such as links), but now I’m using a better hack that works for every sort of object you might throw at it.

a retraction

Posted Saturday, April 7 at 3:48 AM (4 years ago)

I ended up refactoring the query generator and a lot of template stuff. It feels good to have my codebase approaching sensibility on a lot of stuff. Even if my wrists don’t feel so good.

Anyway I’m posting this from my iPad in bed just to prove that it’s possible. Although not recommended; vi is kind of hard to use this way.

(this is why i really hope someone steps up and makes some sort of web-based site editing tool for Publ. i just might do it myself after i get Publ itself in a state where it feels done-ish.)

ok bedtime now zzzzzzz esc :wq

I took it a bit easier today

Posted Saturday, April 7 at 12:41 AM (4 years ago)

Today I kept myself away from pounding away at Publ. But I did fix an entry visibility bug, and also implemented a workaround for the Dreamhost issue.

Oh, and some of my fixes for the visibility bug also led to some code refactoring that will make view pagination a bit easier to implement, so that’s a nice bonus.

I’ve also put some more thoughts into how view pagination will work. In particular I think to keep things simple I’ll only allow views to sort by oldest or newest; The only other useful sorting option I can think of is by title and that’s not really all that stable.

Better Markdown, trying to pace myself

Posted Friday, April 6 at 1:15 AM (4 years ago)

So, I have a problem where when I really get into a project I start to work myself to death on it. Perhaps not literally, but enough so that my limbic system thinks I’m dying. Last night I had a panic attack — my first in quite some time — due to me having pushed myself too hard.

Fortunately this project is getting to a point where I can slow down my development, which is pretty necessary for my sanity and long-term survival!

Updates since the previous post

Posted Wednesday, April 4 at 8:20 PM (4 years ago)

Well, I’ve been pretty busy working away on Publ. Right now I’m just focusing on the stuff necessary to make for an okay blog, with more content types to come later. Fortunately everything stacks on top of everything else!

Here’s some highlights of what I’ve done so far.

The first weblog entry about (and using) Publ!

Posted Tuesday, April 3 at 9:00 AM (4 years ago)

This is the first blog entry on Publ! It’s pretty exciting to finally have this posted.

Publ is a system I’ve been thinking about building for quite a long time, and over the last few years it’s been occupying an especially high-priority slot in the back of my mind. Let’s talk a bit about the history and why I decided to build Yet Another CMS.